When I first started Snail Mail I had a spreadsheet with all the dates I sent and received letters. This very quickly became very complicated looking and meant that I was hardly ever fill it in. I also had a word document with all my pen pals addresses on, but that was was just as hard to use.
I came up with the idea of making small contact cards. I made two, one with my details and one blank for my pen pals to fill in and return to me. I also asked them to fill in details like what name they want to be called by so we didn't have to go through the whole awkward phase of me using the wrong name and then them getting upset haha.
Its also useful to have some way of contacting your pen pals like via facebook, twitter and tumblr just in case you need to contact your pen pals quickly for any reason.
I found on Tumblr a similar post to what I have been doing and thought I'd share it with you because the person who wrote this has a nice story behind it and has kinda taken it to the next level.
From http://notquitedyingart.tumblr.com/ :
I once admired a woman I never saw face to face. She loved easily, opened her heart to many, and was a friend to all she met. She did not introduce me to snail mail, but she did open my eyes to the world of possibilities. This friend recently gave up snail mail because she had so many pen friends, she could not keep up with all of them. She sent a gift to each and every person with whom she corresponded right before she left the community.
She inspired me to do many things, one of which was to create these pen pal information cards. They are glossy postcards with my information on each side. I send them sometime in the beginning correspondence with a new pen pal, along with a blank matte version of the card for my pen pal to fill out and return to me in a provided envelope.
I keep a box with one file for each pen pal I have. On my laptop, I have a spreadsheet which contains the first and last name, birthday, and dates of my sent and received letters of each pen pal.
If you’re wondering where I get these cards, I have them designed and printed by Emily of PixelsPrinted. She is a sweetheart and very easy to work with. I am beyond satisfied with my order every time!